Aerobic and anaerobic exercises sound like the same thing, but they each have different pros and cons. So which is better for losing weight? And which should you add to your workout routine?
Here's a breakdown of the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, and which is better for losing weight.
Aerobic is best described as exercise that makes use of oxygen to generate energy. These exercises are meant to boost the efficiency of the cardiovascular system to absorb and transport oxygen.
Aerobic exercise usually lasts a minimum of 20 minutes. Anytime you workout on a bicycle, treadmill, elliptical machine, running track, or stepper, you're doing aerobic exercise.
Aerobic Exercise Pros
The benefits of aerobic exercise include weight loss, improved circulation, enhanced cardiovascular health, and a boosted immune system. Aerobic exercise also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and specific types of cancer.
Aerobic Exercise Cons
Aerobic exercises are great for burning fat, but they don't build much muscle. Add in the fact that some people can't handle exercising for 20 minutes or longer and it is easy to see why many prefer anaerobic exercises.
Those who have chest pains or any sort of discomfort in the chest should avoid intense aerobic exercise. This style of exercise will also prove unsuitable for those who often experience breathlessness when working out. Those who take medications for a heart condition, high blood pressure or stroke should go easy on these exercises.
This style of exercise involves physical activity without relying on oxygen to produce energy. Instead, the body generates energy that stems from glycogen, also known as carbohydrates.
Examples of anaerobic exercise include high-intensity interval training, resistance training and weightlifting. These exercises typically last a couple of minutes at most.
TRY IT: 30 Minutes Anaerobic Workout
Anaerobic Exercise Pros
The benefits of anaerobic exercises range from muscle development to improved bone density, improved cardiovascular health and the reduction of body fat. Every workout routine should include some sort of anaerobic exercise to help tone your body.
Anaerobic Exercise Cons
With anaerobic exercise, the focus is primarily on building muscle rather than improving endurance. If you're looking to boost your stamina, burn lots of fat and get in shape for something like a marathon or a team sport, anaerobic workouts won't help you reach your fitness goals.
One of the most important disadvantages to this style of exercise is that it causes the accumulation of lactate within the blood. These ions irritate muscle tissue and contractions. They also create a burning sensation within the muscles that causes muscle fatigue and, in some instances, muscle failure.
Which Is Better For Weight Loss?
In terms of overall fitness, neither of these forms of exercise is superior to the other. Aerobic exercise is best for immediate weight loss. If you have a lot of excess fat, you'll want to incorporate cardio-boosting aerobics into your workout regimen. However, you'll also need anaerobic workouts for toning and to prevent those pounds from coming back.
Aerobic and anaerobic exercises ultimately work best if done together. If you want to lose weight and tone your muscles, the best way to do that is with a balanced workout with both.
Though you don't have to perform aerobic and anaerobic exercises every single time you work out, you shouldn't just do one or the other. Instead, try alternating the two. Do thirty-minute aerobic exercises every other day and thirty-minute strenuous anaerobic exercises on the day in-between.
Work with your personal trainer to find the right mix for your fitness goals.
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